» Don’t be a slave of a system, be a master of your own life «

Or: Entrepreneur’s Diary #118 – Be Happy!

It is now almost 18 months since I am no longer working as managing director at InterFace AG. Just like, about 18 years ago, I decided to no longer work as a programmer.

I have now been a free agent for 1.5 years.

And I managed – which is quite sensational if you know me – to look forward to every morning and every evening since then. In the morning, I get up and delight in the fact that my body and even my brains still function properly. I look at my hands and feet. They are still there, just like my eyes, ears, nose and much more.

As I perceive it, the organs function and my heart is still beating. Isn’t that just great? And as an additional bonus, I am financially independent and can more than afford to live well. As most of us who are so privileged in this world.

In this article, I will tell you how I managed to become a happier person. I will write about the secrets I discovered and the rules I found. And about the projects that bring me joy.

My Secrets

izzo5Geheimnisse.Five of them can be found in the book by John Izzo:

“The five secrets you should discover before you die”

These five are an important part of all my secrets. I recommend that everybody read the book even if it is a little “American”. If you want a short version, maybe you want to read my IF Blog article (IF-Blog-Artikel) on the book. It says all you need to know, just in a more concise way.

Ask-an-Answer_1m-185x300Another secret lies in finding the right friends, partners and mentors. This is how, for example, Jolly Kunjappu, became part of my life a few years ago.

Today, he accompanies me as a friend and teacher (which, incidentally, he does not want to be). He is my partner in the project PEACE. The heading of this article is by him. He is only one among many who give me a lot. I am happy that many young persons are among them.

This is where I wish to thank you all!

My Rules.

  • Plan something nice every month.
    Currently, I plan to do something especially nice on 10 special days of the month. For instance, in May, we rode our bikes through Italy and combined this tour with an exciting congress. In June, there will be ten days of island hopping, taking only our backpacks, on the Cyclades (Kykladen). It continues in this vein and I will always have something beautiful to look forward to.
  • Only meet persons you actually like!
    How many miserable hours have I had to spend in the company of persons I never understood? And neither did they understand me. Both sides hoped it might work. But it did not. And what remained was frustration.
  • About Meetings:
    How often have I sat in useless meetings? That is why, for me, the following rules are particularly important:

    • Peer-to-Peer is more important than big meetings.
      I once read that “truth always begins with two”. That is a nice metaphor and it clearly indicates how difficult it is to have a meeting with more than two persons. Peer-to-peer communication is the golden way. If there is a meeting with more than two persons, I either do not participate or only as the “host” or moderator.
    • No meeting must be longer than 90 minutes!
      Basically, you never need more than 60 minutes or even less. If meetings take longer than that, there is the chance that you will verbally destroy what you have achieved. Besides, you will often turn in circles and the result (the agreement) is determined by where you are at the end. What horror!
If a meeting, especially one with more than two persons, has to take place, I feel quite justified if I remain standing during said meeting.
  • On Appointments:
    Do not make appointments in the far-away future, except if it cannot be avoided!  
(for example for a supervisory board meeting) 
Because: appointments will rob you of your freedom. They will become your corset, paralyse you and make it hard for you to act. 
Example: Why should I decide upon a date three months from today at the end of a discussion with my mentee? Would it not be a better way to meet again when my mentee needs me? And then it would be nice if I could see him on short notice. As a free agent, I can always make time for him. If we are locally distributed, it can happen through an “image telephone“.
  • Act Homeopathic!
    What I mean with this is: “never force yourself on somebody!”. “Never try to control things” or “Never think in advance for others and control or manipulate them”. Let things happen, then the right things will happen. 
Example: For me, it is an absolute taboo to actively manipulate others. Anybody can and is welcome to turn up whenever it makes sense to them. And if they do not come, then this only means that they do not need me. And this is also a good thing. All I want is help him or her towards becoming a little happier and more successful.
  • Nurture your Network!
    You are a social being. You need the exchange with other persons. That is the most important of all things because progress will never happen in an isolated surrounding.
  • It is Fun to Learn!
    Currently, I learn extremely much in practice. This year, the number of business plans I either was made aware of by way of mouth or in the written form and then evaluated is perhaps in the high two-digit range. It happens because I am part of the jury in a business plan contest. I have now done this for a few years. Ir is also something I enjoy and it makes me happy.

My Projects.

Your goals should be ambitious and you should be prepared to really work hard towards achieving them. However, you should also tolerate your own mistakes if things do not work well. My two major projects, besides my own life and my family are currently “AktMobCmp“ and PEACE. The former is about “active motility in everyday life” as part of mobility in the future. And then there is the project PEACE that will become more and more the focus of my attention. And I also try to keep good ideas, such as PM-Camp, from going astray.

My Assumption:

I am sure that, even when I was still the managing director, I could have lived as I now do live. And I might have been more successful and happier. But I lacked the courage. Now I know that it can be done. You just have to try!

(Translated by EG)

Or, in Jolly’s words:
» Be different be yourself (unique)«
» Do not be a slave of the system, be a master of your own life «
Jolly Kunjappu
(aus ASK AN ANSWER 2016)

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